February 26, 2020

Fundraising for London start-ups hits record high in 2019

• London-based companies raised £5.6bn of venture capital in 2019 from 319 deals – highest on record

• Capital takes top spot in Europe followed by Paris and Berlin

• Largest deal for Oneweb raised £918.7m

• Most active investor in London was Senderwood LLP which invested £34.6m in 18 deals

• UK companies lead Europe for fundraising

LONDON, 26 February 2020: London-based start-ups raised a record-breaking £5.6bn of venture capital in 2019 – the highest in Europe – according to research by Refinitiv. 

Companies raised more than double the amount raised in 2018 - £2.5bn - from 293 deals, putting London ahead of Paris with £1.7bn worth of deals across 128 deals, and Berlin with £1.5bn across 83 deals.

The largest London deal was for Oneweb Ltd, which raised £919.2m, followed by Deliveroo and Babylon Healthcare Services Ltd raising £429.6m and £412.8m respectively. These deals were also the top three deals in Europe with London-based companies accounted for six out of the top ten.

The most active investors in London were Senderwood LLP which invested £34.6m in 18 deals. MMC Ventures Ltd followed up in second with 13 deals investing £22.5m and Downing LLP invested £21.8m in 12 deals.

Cornelia Andersson, Head of M&A and Capital Raising at Refinitiv comments: “It’s fantastic to see record levels of investment driving start-up activity in London. Despite the overall economic uncertainty over the last year, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in the capital with record amounts being invested in a record numbers of deals.”

UK companies lead Europe for fundraising

UK companies raised £8.1bn of venture capital in 2019 – an 85% increase year on year (£4.3bn). Deal volumes also were slightly up with 560 in this period compared to 554 in 2018. 

The total raised was nearly double that of French companies (£4.1bn) – the next most active European nation. French companies were responsible for 324 rounds completed during the period – down 16% from 2018. Rounding off the top three, German companies saw 181 rounds valued at £2.7bn, which equates to volumes being down 10%, and values up by 38%. 

Record-breaking year for European venture capital raising but deals fall

Across Europe, companies raised £19.5bn of venture capital last year – an increase of 50% year on year. Despite the huge deal values in the period, deal volumes fell to 1,408, down by 7% from 2018 and marked the slowest start to a year since 2009.

Thirty-eight venture capital rounds over £83m were completed during 2019. However, only six of these occurred during the fourth quarter. Included in these six was the £218m series C round into business performance software, Celonis. The investment, led by Arena Holdings and involving previous VC backers Accel and 83North, valued the business at £1.9bn. Also included was the £202m investment into employee payments application, Hastee, led by Umbra Capital and supported by IDC Ventures.

Funds located within the United States invested £5.3bn into European start-ups throughout 2019, accounting for 29% of total disclosed investment. Funds located within Europe contributed a total of £10.9bn and were led by £3.4bn invested by France, £3.2bn by the United Kingdom, and £1bn by Germany.

European venture-backed exits totalled £6.3bn across 102 transactions in 2019, a 35% decrease in value and a 25% decline by number of deals as compared to 2018. By number of transactions, European venture-backed exits posted their fifth consecutive year-over-year decline, from a high of 267 completed in 2014.

About Refinitiv

Refinitiv is one of the world’s largest providers of financial markets data and infrastructure, serving over 40,000 institutions in approximately 190 countries. It provides leading data and insights, trading platforms, and open data and technology platforms that connect a thriving global financial markets community – driving performance in trading, investment, wealth management, regulatory compliance, market data management, enterprise risk and fighting financial crime.